by Bianca Bujan
When the cooler Fall weather hits, nothing satisfied my craving for a warm-me-up like a steaming hot bowl of ramen, and thanks to a new business that has recently opened on the North Shore, I can enjoy the best brothy bowl of ramen, found only minutes from my house.
Zubu – a ramen hot spot (now found at three locations around the Lower Mainland -Kerrisdale, Metrotown, and Park Royal) opened its doors in West Vancouver on July 15, 2020, and while the launch happened during the pandemic, the restaurant has quickly become a popular choice for visitors to the North Shore.
Head Chef Kouichi Nishioka grew up in the Yamaguchi prefecture, where his uncle still owns a small local ramen shop today. That’s where Chef Nishioka first learned to cook, and realized the commitment and effort it takes to make the perfect bowl of ramen. He ended up working for several other ramen and Japanese restaurants, and eventually moved to Canada. Delighted to discover that ramen had yet to make its mark in the area (unlike sushi), Chef Nishioka joined in on the ramen revolution that happened over the years that followed.
The pork broth used to make the ramen at Zubu takes 15 hours to make, and the ingredients used for the dishes are sourced locally whenever possible (nothing is frozen), so the menu changes seasonally. There’s no shortage of options, with nine different choices available on the regular menu (including a surprisingly tasty brothless option), and additional options offered seasonally. My latest pick, the Crispy Chicken Ramen, offers the perfect blend of “Munch, Crunch, Slurp” – words that light up the walls at each location.
Besides a variety of ramen options, diners can also enjoy an electric menu of Japanese dishes, featuring temaki (the DIY temaki party platter is a personal fave), hand-made gyoza (served table side, sizzling hot), and an assortment of must-try appies (the Brussels Sprouts Tempura with white truffle oil will leave you wanting seconds).
With Zubu in town, warming up with the perfect boiling hot bowl of ramen is easy – but choosing what to order from the delicious menu offerings may not be so simple.
For the full menu, restaurant locations, and more background on Zubu, check out their website here.
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